Harvey Golub And Kenneth I. Chenault, American Express

It has become a truism of management practice: A CEO faces no more important task than grooming an eventual replacement. Harvey Golub, the chairman and chief executive of American Express Co. (AXP), systematically studied the succession practices of many corporations. But unlike many CEOs, Golub has applied what he learned to good effect. At a time when failed succession plans are roiling Campbell Soup, Xerox, Lucent Technologies, and other well-known companies, AmEx is moving seamlessly from one CEO to another.

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